I received an email earlier today from Andy Hart of Z-Panzer, a company based in England producing WWII military models in Z scale. I own several of Z-Panzer’s models including their BP42, Panzerzug armored train set; it’s an amazing thing to see on the desk in front of me. I also have Andy’s recent model of the Leopold, a K5 rail gun. Many people know the real thing as Anzio Annie, now in Fort Lee, Virginia at the US Army Ordinance Museum. To really appreciate these models you need to see them in person… to anyone who wants to see truly fine modeling in any scale, Z-Panzer’s pieces should be on your list.
In the email that Andy sent me earlier today I was again just knocked out. Andy’s now working on a German Tiger 1E tank and I’ve had the photos he sent on my desktop most of the day. Without question the Z-Panzer line represents a real high point in Z scale modeling. Knowing the Z-Panzer line (and being a fan) and the quality of the work, I’ve been half-pestering Andy for some time now to consider creating something for the North American market.
To me an initial obvious option was to create a shell for the Marklin 0-6-0 locomotive. It’s a popular Z scale chassis and having a USRA switcher in Z would be big. Then the announcement came for the release of the new Tenshodo Hudson-style (4-6-4) steam locomotive, due here in the states sometime this summer. The Tenshodo locomotives have been very popular in Z scale for their workmanship, articulated side rods and running qualities. To top it off they’re reasonably priced. The downside for modelers of North American railroads… the shells are models of Japanese locomotives. Many NA modelers, me included, are so taken with these locos that we’re willing to overlook this for the high quality of the locomotive mechanism.
We do know that American Z Line (AZL) has an injection Mikado steam locomotive in the works and I have to admit I’m really looking forward to this release. If you’re planning on having steam on your layout though, you’re going to want more than one model, right? This is where my pestering of Andy Hart comes in! Given the quality of the work we see from Z-Panzer in his WWII models, I’m hankering (and I don’t often hanker) for him to create North American shells for these new Tenshodo loco mechanisms.
Hudson locomotive evokes images of the famous New York Central 20th Century Limited streamlined locomotive but there’s much more to the Hudson than the NYC and streamlining. Santa Fe, Illinois Central, Canadian Pacific, Milwaukee Road, St Louis-San Francisco are just a few of the nearly 20 railroads that used the 4-6-4 Hudson type locomotive.
Now getting back to the Z-Panzer Tiger 1E tank, my imagination began to run just a bit wild. Looking at the shot of the Tiger tank in progress and visualizing this level of detail on a Hudson shell running on a Tenshodo chassis, I hope Andy can be convinced to take on this project.
Yeah, I’m officially hankering for it now.